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Dystopian Lit at a Glance
What makes it Dystopian?
According to this blueprint on how to write a hit YA dystopian novel, popular themes that occur in dystopian novels include love triangles, keeping the past (prior to the distopia) a mystery from the general public, oppression, a moral/message, control of emotions (either through government control i.e. drugs, or controlling one's own emotions to fit in) and the inclusion of an important ceremony (e.g. coming of age) (Igpnicki, n.d).
Other themes include:
- Marred and downtrodden societies
- A society worse than the society the reader lives in
- Magnification of social problems
- Encroachment of civil rights
- Attacks on creature comforts
- "Herd" mentality, rather than individualism
- Protagonist are considered leaders, rebels or saviours
- Protagnists are intelligent, resourceful and courageous
- The common man is dumb and wasteful
- Plenty of violence
- A subjective or skewed "happy ending"
- Triumph over grim circumstances
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Drowned by Nichola Reilly